The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced the four winners of the 2023 International Women’s Day Recognition Awards.
Patience Igbiti from Nigeria (Leadership), Malta’s Vladyslava Kravchenko (Emerging Leadership), Malawi National Paralympic Committee (National Paralympic Committee) and World Para Ice Hockey (International Federation) have each received the 2023 International Women’s Day Award.
Kravchenko has been creating waves in and out of the water over the last decade.
In 2015 she was selected by the European Paralympic Committee for the Youth Ambassadors programme to raise awareness about the Paralympic Movement in Europe and visited schools and spoke about the benefits of Para sport on platforms like the European Youth Sport Forum.
The following year at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games she became the first female swimmer and first female athlete since 1980 to represent Malta at the Paralympics.
In 2017, she received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from HM Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her work in Para sport in her community.
She has become a leading advocate for persons with disabilities in Malta and was appointed by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Malta to a Steering Committee which set up the first formal legal structure of the National Paralympic Committee and Athletes’ Council.
She co-authored the National Para Sport Strategy 2019-2029 for Malta’s Ministry of Education and Employment.
A certified public accountant who recently graduated as a Master of Sport Management, Politics and International Development from Loughborough University, Kravchenko co-founded a youth-led NGO, Malta Youth Athletes Network, that brings together active and former athletes to develop local sport through collaborative projects and advocacy initiatives.
As part of this work, the organisation supported the implementation of I’mPOSSIBLE in Malta reaching over 900 students in the first year.
Kravchenko was the athletes’ representative on the first elected Executive Committee of the Malta Paralympic Committee and currently holds the position of Treasurer.
The awards, which the IPC has been running since 2013, primarily recognise women in the paralympic movement who inspire and emulate the paralympic ideals and serve as positive role models. The winners were chosen by members of the IPC Governing Board following nominations from across the Paralympic membership.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President said: “The IPC has been running its International Women’s Day Awards for over a decade now and every year we are hugely encouraged by the quality of the nominations.
“It is particularly important for the Paralympic Movement to have strong growth in female representation. In the last year alone the IPC Senior Executive Team has become 50 per cent female and six of the 14 IPC Governing Board members are women. We are seeing more women in leadership positions amongst our members, where they are creating new platforms for female athletes, coaches, and officials to excel.
“A huge well done to the winners for their well-deserved recognition, and a thank you to all of those who entered the awards. We are excited that there are so many female advocates from across the world making the Paralympic Movement more inclusive and opening new opportunities for women.”
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